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Tour Casting


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Does anyone know if they announce casting ahead of time? ABT will be in Houston on Friday and Saturday, November 12-13. I want to know who will be dancing on each date before I purchase tickets. They'll be performing Mozartiana, Pillar of Fire, Petite Mort, and Sechs Tänze.

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I e-mailed ABT and they sent me casting info. For any Houstonians who plan on attending:

Friday, November 12:

MOZARTIANA - Kent, Corella, H. Cornejo

PILLAR OF FIRE - Murphy, Hallberg, Gomes

PETITE MORT - Company

SECHS TANZE - Company

Saturday, November 13:

MOZARTIANA - Part, Beloserkovsky, Lopez

PILLAR OF FIRE - Wiles, Hallberg, Gomes

PETITE MORT - Company

SECHS TANZE - Company

I'm tempted to go both days. :) If I have to choose between the two, which day should I go? I'm kind of leaning towards the 13th, seeing how Part is dancing in Mozartiana...

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Yes, try to go both times, but if you can only choose one . . . Veronika Part brings a little bit of heaven on stage with her every time, and she brings to Mozartiana a kind of sensuousness -- very different from Farrell's, though.

I haven't yet seen Kent in the role, so I am not making a comparison.

On the other hand, much as I've admired Michele Wiles and enjoyed her artistic growth, as of last spring, I was finding her Hagar a bit disappointing. Murphy's was quite good.

Don't you hate these decisions, OF? :)

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I agree with Carbro. Part is very beautiful in Mozartiana (not to be missed), but Murphy is the better Hagar. Views on Wiles as Hagar were mixed, but Kent just might do very well in Mozartiana. I thought Beloserkovsky was better in Mozartiana than Corella -- he captured the spirit of the work better. Unfortunately, both programs have those Kylian pieces. We have the same problem in New York now. My advice, go to both evenings :P

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Agree with everyone except that I don't think Kent at all suited to Balanchine in general or Mozartiana in particular. the small intricate footwork and renverse-hell-sequences required were never a gift of hers and IMO are utterly beyond her now. if it's only one, OldFashioned, Part hands down without discussion. she's beautiful in the role.

Dale, couldn't there be a civic ordinance limiting # of Kylian pieces per year? :green:

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Unfortunately, both programs have those Kylian pieces.  We have the same problem in New York now.  My advice, go to both evenings  :P

And if you really hate the Kylian pieces the first night, then you can leave after the wonderful, wonderful Pillar of Fire on the second.

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Don’t let the thought of seeing the Kylian pieces twice discourage you from going both nights. When I saw the City Center schedule I groaned at the thought of having to sit through them again but I just saw them last night, and they’re not that bad. It’s just that ABT schedules them so often I must have seen them 5 times last season, and that’s too much! They’re not my favorites, but I enjoyed Petite Mort last night, and the audience loved Sechs Tanze.

And a word about Wiles - like Carbro I was also disappointed in her debut performance as Hagar last season, but I just saw her this afternoon and her progress in the role has been unbelievable. She really seems to have found the heart of her Hagar and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her in Pillar now. Especially if you’re lucky enough to see her with the same supporting cast I just saw - Hallberg, Gomes, Meunier & Butler. It was an excellent performance all around.

So go both nights if you can, but if you can only go once I agree that the second night is the better choice - Part’s Mozartiana is beautiful and you will see a very fine Pillar with the Wiles cast. :innocent:

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The casting for the rest of the Texas swing:

Dallas

-------

November-16

8:00 PM

Mozartiana

V. Part

M. Beloserkovsky

J. Pastor

Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux

X. Reyes

H. Cornejo

workwithinwork

Company

Petite Mort

Company

Sechs Tänze

Company

November-17

8:00 PM

Mozartiana

J. Kent

A. Corella

H. Cornejo

Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux

P. Herrera

M. Gomes

workwithinwork

Company

Petite Mort

Company

Sechs Tänze

Company

Austin

-------

November-19

8:00 PM

Mozartiana

V. Part

M. Beloserkovsky

J. Pastor

Pillar of Fire

J. Kent

G. Saveliev

A. Corella

Petite Mort

Company

Sechs Tänze

Company

November-20

8:00 PM

Mozartiana

J. Kent

A. Corella

H. Cornejo

Pillar of Fire

G. Murphy

D. Hallberg

M. Gomes

Petite Mort

Company

Sechs Tänze

Company

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Has anyone read the Houston Chronicle review of ABT? Here's a direct link: http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/ae/dance/2900694

On Friday, Julie Kent and Angel Corella made Mozartiana a dance of contrasts. The delicate Kent, whose liquid phrasing is sublime, was slowly won over by Corella's exuberance. The chemistry was not as good Saturday between Veronica Part and Maxim Beloserkovsky. She was flashier, more precise and perhaps a little too much ballerina for the princely Beloserkovsky, whose solos were full of gorgeous speed and spring.

Since when was being too much of a ballerina a bad thing, especially in a ballet like Mozartiana? Neither do I believe the man should overpower the woman in this ballet, which was one of my complaints about Corella's performance. I have to completely disagree about the chemistry...I saw it the other way around. I basically agreed with everything Glentzer had to say on Pillar of Fire, although I would not describe a dancer as "silky smooth."

No comment on the Kylian pieces, but for those of you who've seen them over and over again (I opted to skip Kylian the second night), is it possible to find those black dresses and crazy antics amusing each time?

Sigh. I know I complain about this a lot, but since many Ballet Alertniks are familiar with the subjects in this review, maybe now you can see why Houston is severely lacking in adequate dance journalism. Any Dance View Times writers want to move down south? The housing is cheap. :thumbsup:

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No comment on the Kylian pieces, but for those of you who've seen them over and over again (I opted to skip Kylian the second night), is it possible to find those black dresses and crazy antics amusing each time?

In a word - NO! I think it's cruel & unusual punishment for ABT to schedule them so often. :thumbsup:

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Perhaps this is irrelevant to the thread, and perhaps it's not going to be considered appropriate, but today I get the brochure for the 2005 ABT Met season. Three color photos of Julie Kent, including the cover. No photos of Veronika Part. Nothing on Monique Meunier. What is the world is going on over at ABT? Do they think we're so stupid we don't notice?

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Perfectly appropriate, but thanks for asking :thumbsup: (A brochure is fair game.)

I have to say I've found it fascinating that this board, consistently over the past two or three years (and new Part/Meunier fans join in every year), has been interested in dancers that ABT does not seem to be interested in. There's a disconnect in there somewhere!

I don't know for a fact who puts together those brochures. Individual photos would have to be approved, but who's chosing them? Management, marketing strategists, designer? A photo might be chosen because they need a vertical rather than a horizontal, or the colors of the costume might go better with the brochure colors, for all I know. (That's the thinking that often goes into design in print media.)

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Thalictum, while I'd love much more pictures in the brochure of Part and Meunier, there is a lovely one of Veronika Part (who was featured in Mozartiana in the City Center brochure). She's the soloist to the left of Nina A in Raymonda. She looks particularly eloquent, especially the frame of her arms, collar bone, neck and head.

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Yes I saw the picture -- she's in the ensemble, uncredited -- of course she looks fantastic, Wiles on the other side looks excellent also, but only Ananiashvili and Carreno's names are given.

This is a woman who from age nineteen -- she's now twenty-six says ABT's site -- has been recognized and promoted as a star.

By the Kirov.

Let's say this brochure is probably something that Part is NOT going to be sending home to the folks in St. Petersburg.

But the neglect of Meunier is even more regrettable and egregious. So what if she's a few pounds "overweight" -- is ABT now a department store window?

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I agree. I can only guess, short of politics which I won't get into, that ABT is a "star"company. I think they feel (and they've probably got stats to back it up) that principal dancers in lead roles sell tickets. Several times I've heard people next to me counting up the principal dancers on the program. If the lead wasn't a principal, they thought they'd been cheated. Even on the website, when a studio picture of Mozartiana was needed, one of Kent was made and put up. I would have loved one of Part, but Kent is ABT's star. I'm not getting into her performances, only her profile as somebody who has come up through the ranks and has become one of the company's top dancers on the stage and in films.

As far as casting, I've got to be happy that Part has been cast on this tour in Mozartiana as much as Kent. During the spring, there are two Raymondas and all the Sylvias open, so (hope-against-hope) we'll see Part and Meunier more often. There also are some open spots in Le Corsaire.

Old Fashioned, which performance did you end up going? Did you see Part in Mozartiana and what did you think?

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Yes, I did go on both nights, and while I thought Julie Kent was lovely in Mozartiana, Veronika Part was more of the ballerina as the Chron reviewer put it, although in no way did it negatively effect the performance, as it was implied in the review. I found Part's dancing subtle and particularly nuanced, paying great attention to detail, lush, and absolutely divine, everything that I had hoped to expect after reading all the great things said about her on this board. :lol: Dale, I know what you mean about "secondary" dancers not being cast enough, so I was pleasantly suprised to find out Part would be dancing a lead role on the tour. The worst thing that could have happened is if they stuck a certain principal dancer in all the good parts for her star appeal, but she only showed up in Petite Mort (which I only saw the first night). :thumbsup:

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OF, I think you're filling the position of resident dance journalist admirably.

Hehe, thank you, although I certainly don't write as well as I wish I could, neither is my knowledge of ballet as extensive as many of the balletomanes on the board, and I haven't been doing my duty by missing all Houston Ballet performances up until this point. Someone will have to fill in for me when I go off to college next year (crossing my fingers for NYC!). Pugbee? Marenetha?

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Dale what you wrote is very interesting. And the solution is -- name Part and Meunier principals!!! Each of them has danced principal roles at ABT by now. And no offense meant to their fans, but if Reyes and Dvorovenko are principals, Meunier and Part -- two of the greatest dancers in the world today -- certainly deserve to be. And I believe the sometime "over" weight would disappear when they were being used consistently.

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I second that Thalictum. Hope, hope, hope one day....<crossing my fingers>

Old Fashioned, thank you for your review. Part has "ballerina polish" in abundance. And that's never a bad thing. I thought her Mozartianas were a bit sharper at the Met, although the smaller City Center suited the ballet better than the vast Met stage.

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My 2 cents on ABT's Saturday performance in Austin:

Beloserkovsky subbed for Corella in Mozartiana. I prefer him to Corella in this role, although his and Kent's partnering seemed unsure at times. She seemed to be sliding out of the final arabesque backbend in the adagio, and there were some missed pirouettes and shaky promenades. The Preghiera was divine, though. I think Kent did well by doing her own thing here. She managed to convey a sparkling thoughtfulness that lent the piece an appropriate introspective feeling, without losing the audience. Herman Cornejo did a nice job in the Gigue. The dancing in the Menuet lacked crispness and authoritative port de bras. Overall, I was happy with the ballet, but still prefer the native NYCB dancers. I would have LOVED to see Part, but alas, I've been in NYC ever since ABT finished their City Center season (oh the irony).

I was happy to get to see Murphy's Hagar, though. She is particularly suited to this dramatic heroine. Tudor's choreography fit her like a glove, and none of the movements seemed awkward or forced, everything spontaneous. In fact, the whole cast was wonderful. I liked the way Gomes played the Young Man as a naturally dashing playboy. He didn't fall into the stock character of "menacing monster" that I've seen on past occasions. My favorite thing: seeing Sarawanee Tanatanit as one of the Lovers-in-Experience - her dancing subtly stood out. The hype seems real - a principal waiting in the wings.

Petite Mort was okay. I don't really care for the piece, but an Asian corps member subbed for Kent who was outstanding. I missed her name, but I would really love to know who she was.

The audience laughed predictably at the indignities of Sechs Tanze. Too bad this piece was scheduled last. It probably eclipsed the far superior first and second ballets in the audience's memory. Along with the bat that was flying around the stage for the entire 2.5 hours! Only in Austin :rolleyes:

Edited by sdj3
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Thanks for that sdj3.  Love the bat story, too!

There's a girl from China who's been getting noticed -- she was in "Symphonic Variations" last spring, which is a big way to start!  I wonder if she was who you saw?

Her name is Zhong-Jing Fang. . Here's a lnk to her bio page on the abt website.

Zhong-Jing Fang

I think that's her! She's a beautiful dancer.

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